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Russia: Trace of Western-made nerve agent seen in United Kingdom samples
15 April 2018, 09:42 | Erica Roy
Fake: Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons Unable to Establish Origin of Nerve Agent in Skripal Poisoning
On Monday, the daughter of former Colonel GRU Sergei Skripal Julia was discharged from the hospital in Salisbury, despite previous statements by British Prime Minister Theresa May that poisoning victims may never recover.
"If someone was spying, why were the British services not complaining about that?"
The strongest concentration of the Novichok nerve agent found in the Salisbury incident was on the front door of Mr Skripal's home.
The claims are made in a letter from Sir Mark Sedwill, the UK's national security adviser, to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg.
United Kingdom inspectors from the defence research facility at Porton Down in Wiltshire first identified the nerve agent as belonging to the Novichok group. The alleged hackers' attack is described as retaliation against London accusing Moscow of being involved in the Skripal case.
But the release of the previously highly classified information will cast fresh doubts over Russia's denials.
Vil Mirzayanov, who led counter-intelligence for the former Soviet Union's military and helped develop novichok, told The Daily Mail the chemical "causes you convulsions and you can't breathe and after that you die, if you get enough of a dose of it".
Sir Mark said Russian Federation failed to declare its work on Novichoks when it ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention.
In his letter, Sir Mark said: "During the 2000s, Russian Federation commenced a programme to test means of delivering chemical warfare agents and to train personnel from special units in the use of these weapons".
He said that it included investigating ways of delivering nerve agents by applying them to door handles.
A British police officer took ill after helping the Skripals.
Russian Foreign Ministry information and press director Maria Zakharova said the allegations in relation to the poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal were a "clear anti-Russian campaign, the like of which we have not seen in the world for a long time in terms of its scale and lack of principles".
Lavrov further said that Skripal's may have been poisoned by a substance which could have been the BZ substance - which was never produced in the Soviet Union or Russian Federation.
Russian Federation had stopped its chemical programs in 1992 and eliminated all chemical weapons in 2017, he said. The country's authorities determined that y had been poisoned by a Soviet-era nerve agent and accused Russian Federation of it.
"It is highly likely that Novichoks were developed to prevent detection by the West and to circumvent worldwide chemical weapons controls", Sir Mark wrote.
"There remains no alternative explanation about who was responsible - only Russian Federation has the means, motive and record", he said.
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